In July we launch our new Asthma class in Community Education. If you struggle with asthma, summer is a good time to see if your diet could help manage the condition. Research supporting foods effect on asthma is robust and shows some specific actions you can take.
Eating more fruits and vegetables, 5 or more servings of vegetables and 2 or more servings of fruit a day, may improve your asthma control. Consider using the plate model as a guide to get half of your plate at each meal full of fruits and veggies. Try 1 cup of berries at breakfast, snacks of an apple or orange, some carrots or tomatoes, salad at lunch, and grilled or steamed veggies with dinner. One cup of raw vegetables and half a cup of cooked vegetables equals a serving. Not only do the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in fruits and vegetables play a role in improving asthma, but increasing fiber by eating more plant foods keeps the gut healthy and combats inflammation.
One study showed that when saturated fat intake decreased, a reduction in the inflammation of the airway was achieved. Cutting down on animal foods, and in particular fast food and cured meats, were most strongly linked to these improvements. An association between higher sugar containing drink intake, such as soda and juice, and asthma has also been demonstrated in studies. Cutting down on fast food, processed foods and sugar in the foods you eat will benefit the whole body as it helps lesson asthma attacks.
Try this Broccoli Berry Salad to get a serving of both fruit and veggies at your next meal.
- ½ bag spinach leaves
- 1 cup raw broccoli florets, broken into small pieces
- ½ cup blueberries
- ½ cup cut up strawberries
- You can use any berries you like that are in season.
- ¼ red onion, finely chopped
- Juice from ½ an orange, whole orange if small
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- Pepper to taste
Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Drizzle salad with dressing and serve.